Above: Trinidad (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Trinidad and Tobago Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj has signed a $48.3 million USD memorandum understanding with a group of companies in the agricultural sector.
The agreement involves the use of the Caroni Green Initiative, which aims to use land that was left uncultivated after the closing of Caroni Limited to grow crops “that will be monetized in one form or another,” according to the government.
The deal was signed with St Lucia’s Baron Foods Limited, the United Kingdom’s Emunite Energy Solutions, Natram Ramlogan, a hardware dealer and farmer Daran Soondarsingh.
Barron Foods in particular is interested in setting up a food processing plant that would cost around $15.6 million over a three-year period.
“They have also expressed commitment to investing in the cultivation of 100 acres of crops for the purpose of processing,” Maharaj said. “The investment by the company is expected to create over 200 permanent jobs.”
Maharaj said Soodarsingh was well known as a large exporter of green vegetables; he has expressed a commitment to purchase 200,000 bundles of dasheen bush every week for export to New York, Maharaj said.
Ramlogan’s Hardware has also expressed an interest in investing $15.6 million to providing fertilizers, equipment and machinery to the agricultural sector, the Minister said.
Emunite Energy Solutions’ interest is not food, but energy — it is seeking to use 3,500 acres of land for the production of green fuel, working with cane farmers, the government said, also at a cost of around $15.6 million, or TT$100 million).